News from Mr Ramsey

This week’s Verulam Voice front page has been dedicated to British Science week 2018.

I have been very keen to increase our offering in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) at Verulam with the creation of our new STEM Lab, the associated STEM ECCO Club and Verulab Science ECCO Club all launching this academic year. Central to this, I have been delighted that the Science Faculty have organised a large range of events to coincide with British Science Week. Run by the British Science Association, British Science week is a national 10-day celebration of STEM subjects and I was keen that Verulam School also played its part in promoting these important subject areas to our students.

Mr Knowles, Second in Science, has co-ordinated the events at school. Some of the events planned have included Year 7 and 8 conducting science projects based on the Rock Cycle and Climate change respectively. The quality and creativity of models submitted has been outstanding and we are shortlisting the best models and projects to be presented with prizes next week. Year 7 and 8 have also had normal science teaching suspended in favour of fun, interactive and practical learning with activities including building rockets, engineering protective cases to protect eggs when dropped from the top of the science stairs, exploring electricity with the Van De Graaf Generator and lots of fun chemical experiments that they would not usually see in the KS3 curriculum. Verulab Science ECCO club has run all week with similar activities to grip and inspire our younger students. Students have also transformed the science block with colourful science week bunting!

On Friday, I have been thrilled that The Big Bang Eastern have helped us to put on our own Big Bang Fair at Verulam. Through their network, we have welcomed no fewer than six STEM ambassadors from companies such as Aecom, Roche Pharmaceuticals, Transport for London, Skanska, Hertfordshire Highways and Airbus who have provided engaging and inspiring talks to our Year 10 and 11 students. Year 12 and 13 have also been included in the day with a talk from Mark Handley, an ex-Verulam student who is now researching networks at UCL. His talk was on how the internet works, a most relevant topic area for a 21st Century student.

The list of activities goes on: members of the Science Department have also given up their Saturday to put on a trip to the Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham for our Year 9 and 10 students. The trip has been really popular and two coaches of boys are heading to the event to engage in interactive stage shows and demonstrations from a huge variety of STEM companies and organisations.

Finally, I am excited that the celebrations will culminate with the prestigious visit of Professor Lord Robert Winston next week. He will be meeting some of our Sixth Form students who will have studied one of his many research papers beforehand and then he will deliver a talk to our Sixth Form and selected Year 11 triple science boys in Engaging Minds. Year 7 and 8 prize winners will also have the opportunity to talk to him about their projects and models.

I am very proud of our STEM subjects at Verulam and British Science Week marks the start of a very important expansion of our partnerships with industry. I am keen that many more links are forged to provide our students with the highest quality STEM education both inside and outside of the classroom.
I would like to thank the Science Faculty for all their hard work, producing a tremendous week of activities, reaffirming the importance of science in education and the wider world. All I can say is, I look forward to next year’s event which promises to be even better!

Water bottles

We have been seeing an increasing trend of boys bringing 2 litre water bottles to school. Please may I remind all parents that boys are only permitted to bring one small bottle.

Headmaster’s commendation

This week’s Headmaster’s commendation goes to Konner Concannon for making such an excellent start at Verulam with his exceptional effort in lessons, his resilience and excellent behaviour and his attitude to learning.

P A Ramsey

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